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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-08-28||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Left upper trailhead at 6am. Very little snow thru lavender col but slippery on rocksdue to low temps. In the chute, large snow patches throughout , but not deep. Microspikes will be helpful towards top for sure and I used a snowspike (between microspike and crampon) on the way down, as the snow melted quickly when the sun came out and the chute became slippery and muddy in places. Notch was bone dry, as was the rest of the route. Completely white 360 views at the top. No view whatsoever due to low clouds and fog but a nice hike nonetheless. A later start might be helpful if temps similar to ours today as it seemed to be clearing as we got back to the jeep.
|2016-08-14||Route: North Buttress
Info: A few hundred feet of low angle snow at the base and somewhat a shooting gallery. Aluminum crampons or ax highly recommended. Route is dry, as is the Lavender descent to Blaine Basin.
|2016-08-06||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: The boulder before the notch appears to have been washed way from the standard route picture. I'm not sure if it assisted much or at all, I forgot to take a picture of it, but it is a class 3 move and there is exposure to your left.
|2016-07-31||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: No change from yesterdays report, just thought I would add a couple photos showing the perma-snow near the top of Lavender Col. From the lower trailhead it took me 2hr07min to reach the summit and round trip took 3hr26min. I wouldn't anticipate the snow section melting out any time soon. There is solid ice underneath it. Stick to the climbers right hugging the rocks. Going up it is easy, I would recommend a piolet, whippet, or at least a pole to assist in going down.
|2016-07-30||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: About 2/3rds of the way up the gulley prior to the summit, there is a snow field. Snow softened up fairly early in the morning ~7-8am, enough to kick step and walk up. Can ascend right side of snowfield via solid rock. Rest of the trail is clear.
|2016-07-27||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: Southwest ridge route from East Dallas Trailhead (Blue Lakes Trail). I have no idea why anyone would want to climb Mount Sneffels standard route from Yankee Boy Basin when this route is an option. Ya it is longer, ya there is more gain, it is also 5 million times more beautiful and aesthetic. The class 3 climbing is FUN and mostly all solid. We went up the ridge and down the ridge. The wildflowers on the Blue Lakes side are off the hook. I loved this route and this mountain. Yankee Boy Basin looks ick. Ick ick ick. Oh ya and all snow is now avoidable on the ridge.
|2016-07-24||Route: from Blue Lakes
Info: My husband caught a pokemon on top. You can too! See photo. Other than that, we hiked up from Blue Lakes after camping there for the night. Switchbacks up to Blue Lakes Pass were dry and beautiful with wildflowers. After hitting the pass, we descended to meet up with the Yankee Boy route. If you do this, be sure to connect with the Yankee Boy trail at the 2nd sign in the boulder field, NOT the first sign that is in the meadow. Walk straight past that first sign and head to the sign in the boulder field, then turn left from there to go up the Yankee Boy route. Conditions same as 7/23 report.
|2016-07-23||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Route was clear and dry except for about the last 60 yards of the upper gully before the V-notch (photos 17-25 of the route description). Trail from restroom TH to bottom of slope to Lavender Col is clear and presents no issues other than ORV traffic. Slope/gully to Lavender Col is loose and sketchy in places, making for a slower and more careful up and down. There is no singular trail up to the col - pretty much pick-your-path, with larger rocks on the left and dirt and pebbles (ball bearings) up the erosion in the middle gully. If there is some moisture, using microspikes in the dirt in the middle of the gully may be the better option. The upper gully was half-clear and half-bulletproof (7:30a-9a). Not sure if/how it loosened up later in the day. We had crampons and ice ax and had no issues up or down. Those without traction could make it (using steps in snow or hugging the right side), but looked like slow going and could be precarious if any mis-step, especially descending. Overheard many lamenting not having brought traction or poles. V-notch and beyond is totally dry and snow-free. I won't predict future weather or warmth of the day will impact on the snow in the upper gully. We started to ditch our gear at the bottom of the slope to the col, but were glad to have kept it for those 60 yards or so. Poles/whippet and microspikes probably would have sufficed. Oh, and a helmet would be a really good idea for the slope up to the col and the upper gully.
|2016-07-22||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: I set out to climb Mt. Sneffels as my first 14er on my 40th Birthday. The route was in great condition all the way up to Lavender Col. The climb on the rocks was not easy but it was just like it was described in the route. After a quick rest on the saddle we worked our way up Lavender col. It was not easy but was a lot of fun. Once we got to the snow we decided to use the previous foot holes and climb up. It worked very well going up. Once at the top I help my wife through the notch(she is short) after that we climbed to the peak and enjoyed the success but not the view because the clouds had rolled in. After being up there for a little bit we heard thunder and quickly started our way down. After helping the wife down the notch it started hailing hard and we got against a big rock because the hail hurt. After it settled down we started down the snow with a group of about 6 it was not easy going down the snow backwards climbing ladder style and looking down through my legs to see next hole and looking up to help wife with finding holes(not easy for a shorty). We got down ok after a very long and hard trek down the bolders that were now wet. I LOVED THE ADVENTURE and cannot wait to attack my next one
|2016-07-17||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: All snow on the route is avoidable. There is lots of loose rock in the gully.
|2016-07-16||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: Climbed from the Blue Lakes side. Snow was on route just above the pass and around the 30' descent between gullies. Did not cause us problems nor did it require traction. Despite some minor concerns about difficulty, we opted to descend the ridge as well (the devil you know ...). In hindsight this was a great choice. We descended fairly comfortably and quickly.
|2016-07-12||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Other than a few minor snow fields, the route is dry up until halfway up Lavender Col. However, as the conditions report from a day earlier indicates, this snow was bullet-proof, very icy and hard, early in the morning before the sun hit. This 200-foot section represented a snow climb, and to anyone attempting this within the next two weeks before 8:30 AM or so, I'd strongly recommend crampons, an ice axe, and some confidence in using them. I did observe a few people using microspikes but the going was very slow. That's what I attempted to use, and they didn't work very well for me. I decided not to go further. The other option is obviously to wait until the sun starts softening up the snow, but as we know with monsoons, this isn't always an option. Regarding other conditions reports that suggest climbing the surrounding rock ribs instead, remember that involves Class 3 scrambling and possibly a few Class 4 moves, and also would mean crossing another very steep gully with snow in it. Best to be prepared for a short snow climb in Lavender Col for another week or two.
|2016-07-11||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: We camped at Blue Lakes and started the climb at Blue lakes pass. After deciding to take the southwest ridge, our group came to a snow field at the first pinnacle. There was enough melt that right next to the pinnacle there was enough room to move without entering the snow. From there up until the peak it was snow free. After deciding to take the Yankee Boy route down, that's where we ran into problems. The snow on Lavender Col spread the whole width and was soft in the afternoon. After slowly decending and sliding a few feet at a time, the pitch increased and so did our speed. It was very dangerous and all four of us had to basically self arrest before the rocks. In fact, in the 7/12 report photo you can see the chute we created down the middle of the snow. The rest of the route was snow free.
|2016-07-10||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: If starting early, you may want to bring ice axe and microspikes/crampons. We started up Lavender Col around 7:00 am and it was a solid sheet of ice and we had a hard time kicking steps. People heading up late didn't seem to need them. Also, a helmet would be smart in the gully.
|2016-06-30||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Climbed in the middle of the night from Yankee Boy. Accidentally climbed a couloir on the South face straight toward the summit that ran out of snow around 13200ft. From there it was nasty loose class3 covered ledges to the top. Descended the Lavendar Col route, upper section was snow free, and the snow in Lavendar was fairly soft in the middle of the night and easy to plunge step down without my crampons on, just an ice axe for protection. One could scramble the rock ribs to the sides of the couloir to avoid the snow if desired. The lower slope approach to Lavendar is mostly dirt and the snow can be avoided. The snow that did exist down low was fairly punchy and I did some postholing, but was also able to get a couple short glissades in.
|2016-06-27||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: Ok, had to add my two cents here after Caleb. Even though just a day later, we have a bit of a different take. Don't go up here for the next few weeks without an axe and some good common sense. The snow conditions above Lavender Col are tricky and dangerous. If you don't like snow, do the variation on the south along the rock that avoids it. That said, the route from Blue Lake Pass up the SW Ridge is in great shape. Snow can be avoided for the most part, except the first couple hundred vertical feet from Blue Lakes Pass. An axe is comforting, traction is not necessary. Descending the standard route, the V-notch is finally snow free! Took a long time this year. As an alternative, hike to the very top of the gully and head straight up along the ridge. Looks hard, but nothing more than lower 4th class. oh yeah, just to be clear, bring an axe or stay out of the gully above Lavender Col for a couple weeks. No need for snowshoes anymore.
|2016-06-25||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: The South West Ridge still had plenty of snow but was passable with micro-spikes. I personally did not have an ice axe but I wish that I did because there were moments on the ridge were you hug rock and snow and a fall would necessitate a self-arrest. Trekking poles sufficed to keep my balance, but I still would recommend an axe for the added confidence. Most of the snow was concentrated on the lower portions of the ridge and the gully. We opted to descend the standard route for time sake. It was also holding plenty of snow. Two cool guys from Arizona summited it in running shoes with no traction, but that is extremely impressive! We had to kick in steps on the way down. However the snow became very soft as we descended. It is possible to climb without any traction or axe but I would not recommend it. However, the steps are probably very kicked in at this point so the conditions could be much easier by now.
|2016-06-24||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Road to lower trail head is free of snow, and water crossings are no problem for 4WD vehicles. Saw two low clearance vehicles parked on the road on the side. Road is closed before the upper trail head by Forest Service. Trail still has lots of snow above the 12,600 trail sign and right turn towards Sneffles, but passable until the broad gully southeast of Sneffels. From there -- rock hopping and postholing were the theme of the day. Still pretty firm snow on the way up -- but postholed in spots coming down - even in snowshoes. Steep snow conditions exist up high -- used microspikes and axes going up and down Lavender Col for safety - but saw a newbie hiker in shorts, trial shoes, and no fear make the hike with minor shin cuts. Still a very wet hike with water melt and slush snow.
|2016-06-22||Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Info: Such a stunning hike. However, there's still a decent amount of snow at the top. The trail was clear until the upper trailhead and into the base of the area where it starts to get real steep (after the "Mt. Sneffels" sign that directs you to the right). The snow becomes consistent in the steep ascent toward the summit. We were sans snowshoes, so we miserably postholed our way to the first plateau. We had plans to head left up to the summit but figured with all the snow making the boulder field slippery it would take an hour+ and a storm was rolling in quick. We worked about 1/4 way up the boulder field and called it quits. There was so much snow that we actually slid down the steep descent using our rain jackets as "sleds" (SO MUCH BETTER THAN POSTHOLING!)
|2016-06-18||Route: Southwest Ridge
Info: I hiked in from the blue lakes trailhead on 6/17/16, set up camp between the lower and 2nd blue lake, and summited on 6/18/16. There was still lots of snow on the last half mile leading up to lower blue lake, then lots more snow between the first and second lakes. The post-holing was no fun in this section, but the snow is melting fast. From camp, the southwest ridge and blue lake pass looked like a good mix of snow and dry (photo 1). The area around the third lake and the climb up to the pass still had lots of snow (photo 2). I found it much easier to climb straight up the snow than try and follow the switchbacks. Microspikes and an ice axe helped big time. Photo 3 shows the first gully on the ridge from the route description. Photo 4 shows the notch you pass through. Photo 5 shows the gully you climb after the notch and short descent. Photo 6 looks down at lower blue lake from the summit. Photo 7 shows Yankee Boy Basin from the summit. For those reading this in future years, this was a slightly above average snow year with lots of late season (April and May) snow.